Licence not linked to membership, claims govt


Off-course betting could not be held at the BTC on Friday, with the turf club yet to get its licence renewed. The government had been demanding increase of membership at the BTC, with its officials getting 50 slots. While this has been a contentious matter, the government, in a letter to the BTC, said it was not connected to the current issue.

Sources said that BTC wrote a letter to the government on Wednesday seeking clarification on the licence issue. The source also said BTC had earlier indirectly queried whether the government was not granting them the licence because of the issue.

On Thursday, the day the licence expired, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) ISN Prasad told DH that government was awaiting a Criminal Investigation Department report on the horse-doping saga that rocked the club at the start of the summer season. 

The BTC will be holding a Special General Body Meeting on September 5 to discuss the issue of membership. The major point of discussion would be whether to increase the membership quota -- currently around 350 -- by 150 with 50 of it being allocated to the government.

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